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Black Friday shoppers out getting lots of deals

the tribune/dustin melchior People waiting in line to check out in J.C. Penney at the Ashland Town Center Mall.

the tribune/dustin melchior
People waiting in line to check out in J.C. Penney at the Ashland Town Center Mall.

As snow started to fall, shoppers of all ages lined up in the cold outside the Ashland Town Center Mall waiting for the 6 p.m. opening time Thanksgiving night.

“We were the first store to open,” Malynda Jenne, sales manager at J.C. Penney, said. “It is a lot of work and we work really long hours, but it’s awesome for us.”

Stores have a lot to do to get ready for Black Friday.

“Supervisors are accountable for their departments and the associates that are in their departments. We also need to make sure that all of our door-buster sales are in the aisles,” Jenne said. “We walk around with our ads in the store as well and do whatever corporate tells us to do.”

Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year as it kicks off the Christmas shopping season.

“It has been really busy for us here so far,” Jenne said. “We are expecting it to die down a little bit around 1 a.m. but then pick back up again around five or six in the morning, although we wish it would stay busy the whole time.”

With Black Friday technically starting Thanksgiving night, people were out in full force getting all of the deals.

“It’s been running a lot smoother this year,” Rena Hatfield, of Waterloo, said. “I like this better than waiting out at three or four in the morning like how it used to be. It’s a lot more fun going shopping Thanksgiving evening than waiting until the morning.”

Juanita Hatfield felt a little differently about shopping with the huge crowd.

“It’s been really stressful,” she said jokingly. “I’ve never seen so many people.”

Hatfield and her family go Black Friday shopping every year.

Some people feel more traditionally about the holiday.

“We’re used to coming at 4 a.m. because that’s what we have always done,” Mary Sergent, of Ashland, said. “We spend Thanksgiving all together as a family and then go shopping Friday morning. We’ve probably been going Black Friday shopping for 30 years.”

The Ashland Town Center Mall opened at 6 p.m. Thursday and will remain open until 9 p.m. tonight.